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News-Antique.com - Nov 30,-0001 - Feb. 9, 2007-- Picture the scene. It’s the U.S. All-Star Baseball team international tour, Toyama, Japan 1934.
In this ground level photo Babe Ruth’s at bat and Lou Gehrig is on deck. The photo is also signed in fountain pen by Ruth, Gehrig and umpire John Quinn.
The signatures look like they were penned yesterday. The photo may well be the only surviving shot of a timeless moment in baseball history.
It all started when the American All-Star Baseball team and their wives sailed on the Empress of Japan into the Land of the Rising Sun.
By all accounts, more than 500,000 Japanese fans jammed Ginza as the American team paraded through the district. They were waiting for a glimpse of the legendary Babe Ruth.
Led by Connie Mack, the players included baseball greats Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Charlie Gehringer, Earl Averill, and Lefty Gomez.
Matsutaro Shoriki, owner of the Yomiuri newspaper, put together Japan's best. The Japanese team consisted of stars from the major university and company teams which included eleven future Japanese Hall of Famers.
Even so, Japan’s best was no match for Ruth and the other players. The American Major League All-Stars won every game and demolished their hosts by a combined score of 181-36.
Former American League umpire John Quinn understood the importance of this period in baseball history because he was part of the 1934 Japan tour. Quinn carefully preserved photos, posters, scorecards and other related paper items from the tour. Many of the items have not previously been known to even exist.
The collection was offered publicly for the first time directly from the Quinn family. The lots were featured in Hunt Auctions Nov. 10 Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory Auction held at the factory in Louisville, Ky.
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